COLUMBUS — Carolyn Lippert jokes that she has remained active in the Girl Scouts because of her lifetime membership.
Her husband bought it for her a few years ago because, she explained, the price of a membership was going up and the lifetime option was cheaper.
But the real reason why Lippert has continued with the organization for 30 years is because of the impact it has on the lives of young girls.
“They really gain in self-confidence and leadership skills,” Lippert said.
She was a Girl Scout herself growing up in Sioux City, Iowa, and later started her own troop with a friend in Columbus. That was three decades ago.
For her dedication to the organization, Lippert was honored with a years of service award. The Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska recognized volunteers for their contributions to the program during a ceremony in October. Lippert was one of six women from Columbus and the surrounding communities who were honored for their years of service.
The recipients were nominated by their peers for their service and contributions to Girl Scouts.
Shawna Booth, of Genoa, was given an appreciation pin for exemplary service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Tiffany Rayback, of Columbus, was given a volunteer of excellence award for contributing outstanding service while partnering with girls to implement the Girl Scouts Leadership Experience.
St. Luke’s Church in Columbus was presented a community benefactor award for supporting the Girl Scouts through donations of time, goods and services.
Lippert, who is a teacher at St. Anthony Elementary School, stepped down from being a troop leader about 15 years ago. She has stayed active in the organization by being on the committee that awards scholarships to high school girls in Columbus and the surrounding area.
When Lippert started her own Brownie Troop, it had 34 girls. Two who went through the troop were her own daughters. Lippert guesses she was the troop leader for about 100 girls over the years.
Of those scouts, seven went on to earn a Gold Award, the highest achievement for a Girl Scout. Lippert said seeing those girls succeed is one of the most gratifying parts of being involved in the organization. Another highlight was being nominated by her troop for the Leader of the Year honor in 1997.
Lippert said she can’t see herself ever fully stepping down from the Girl Scouts. She says the organization is still relevant today and she wants to continue to be a part of it.
“I wouldn’t have spent 30 years with it if I didn’t think it was valuable,” she said.